Frozen felines lucky to survive extreme cold

Tally warms up in a car after being unfrozen from a gravel road where she was stuck

Tally warms up in a car after being unfrozen from a gravel road where she was stuck

Frozen pipes, cars that won’t start and bulky winter coats are the inconveniences of winter for many people. But for the vulnerable - like abandoned cats and kittens - extreme winter conditions are a matter of life and death.

This winter, Regina Cat Rescue (RCR) has helped many cats get in out of the cold, and three recent rescues are particularly lucky to be safe and warm indoors after facing extraordinary odds.

When an RCR volunteer was travelling on a desolate gravel road for work she noticed what she thought was a bird in the road. Instead, it was Tally. She was so covered in snow that her long fur was completely frozen to the ground. And while she’s now warm and safe, Tally’s front paw is injured and may require amputation. We continue to work with our partner vets to determine the best outcome for Tally.

Frysta’s ears will soon fall off due to frostbite

Frysta’s ears will soon fall off due to frostbite

Frysta was found frozen in a tree as temperatures dipped to -35°C. An RCR volunteer spotted her and was able to get her inside, warmed up and into our care. When Frysta was assessed at the vet, it was a shock to learn that this eight-month-old girl weighed just 1.5 kg – about the weight we’d expect of a three-month-old kitten. She remains wobbly on her feet likely due to malnutrition and will lose her ears due to frostbite, but is slowly recovering in a foster home.

King was just a black dot on a white highway when a motorist spotted him. The motorist couldn’t understand why a cat was sitting in the middle of a highway so he stopped to investigate. Turns out, King’s paw was literally frozen to the highway and he wasn’t able to move. Once freed from the highway, King was turned over to RCR and was assessed by a vet. His ears are tender from frostbite, but overall the prognosis is good for this very lucky little guy.

King recovers in a warm vehicle after being saved from a freezing highway

King recovers in a warm vehicle after being saved from a freezing highway

For every cat we’re able to help, we know there are many more struggling to survive during this polar vortex. Please help by:

  • Keeping your pets indoors (always, but especially in cold weather)

  • Checking the wheel well and under the hood of your vehicle for cats and kittens seeking warmth

  • Cleaning up all anti-freeze spills (it’s extremely toxic to cats but its sweet taste makes it very enticing)

  • Not leaving your cat in a cold car

  • Taking action when you see an animal freezing outside (don’t assume someone else will help)

  • Preparing for community cats to survive the winter

  • Donating to RCR so we can pay for veterinary care for cats like Frysta, King and Tally.

-Rachel, Regina Cat Rescue

2018 Year in Review

The new year is here so we wanted to take a moment to share what went down at Regina Cat Rescue (RCR) in the last 12 months.

The Pet Rescue team (the volunteers responsible for tame cats) rescued 401 animals in need. The team stuck very close to the 400 rescue cap that was established in 2017 to help us budget appropriately and to manage volunteer burn out. Behind the scenes, new software and database was introduced to improve tracking and reporting capabilities. This has helped the team to operate more efficiently.

The Community Cat team (the volunteers responsible for feral/community cats) trapped, neutered/spayed and returned 24 cats. The number of community cat colonies decreased to 27 colonies. This decline was because some colonies were combined. In 2018, the Community Cat team included 32 community cat feeders and another seven volunteers who helped with the annual winter shelter making bee.

Other highlights from the year, include:

  • The Fundraising team raised $10,000 through the Kitty Cash 50/50 — our biggest fundraiser ever! (Watch for our 2019 Kitty Cash 50/50 coming this summer!)

  • The Bingo team put in a collective 1,548 hours at Fantasyland Bingo. The consistent and reliable funds earned through these hours is huge asset to the organization.

  • Volunteers donated over 2,020 hours of their time to RCR by working in the Western Pizza Booth at Mosaic Stadium. This amazing feat earned thousands of dollars to pay for veterinary care and supplies for tame and community cats.

  • In late December RCR received word we were successful in our PetSmart Charities of Canada grant application. The result is $10,000 from PetSmart Charities of Canada to carry out 100 spay/neuter surgeries for unowned free-roaming cats in Regina. And while $10,000 is a small percentage of our revenue (less than 5 per cent), we’re deeply appreciative of PetSmart’s commitment to helping cats in need and thankful for their generosity.

Thank you to everyone who supported RCR throughout 2018 whether that be by adopting, sponsoring, donating, educating or volunteering. We appreciate your support and wish you all the best for 2019!

We always need more hands on deck. If you’re interested in contributing your time or money to RCR, check out the Donate or Get Involved tabs for more information.